On Jan. 30, 2014, Grammy-winning artist Bruno Mars held a press conference at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater in New York City to talk about his performance at the Super Bowl XLVII halftime show. The event takes place at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Feb. 2, 2014. Fox has the U.S. telecast of Super Bowl XLVIII. Here is what Mars said at the press conference.
What were some of the first thoughts that ran through your mind after you accepted the invitation to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show?
I couldn’t believe it. We were all watching it when Beyoncé performed. And we were saying, “Man, what if one day, we get the call to do that? It definitely came soon, but just honored. Some greats have been on that stage, and we’re just excited to that we’re getting the shot.
Any surprises for your Super Bowl performances?
So how are you preparing for the cold weather?
We started rehearsing two nights ago. You never really know what you’re expecting. When we got out there, there was a lot of things that happened, like the microphone turns into a popsicle. There are just all these things that you don’t thing about, going into it, but I’m grabbing the mic, and it’s frozen. So it’s stuff like that we’re taking into consideration and getting some heaters on everything.
Are you feeling the pressure of this Super Bowl performance?
Well, I never had to do a press conference before I perform, so it just got real, I guess.
What about any surprises? Are you going to give anything away?
[He says jokingly] Yeah, I’m going to give T-shirts away after the show. [He says seriously] I want the world to watch. It’s only a couple of days away. They can hold tight.
And which team are you rooting for at the Super Bowl this year?
See, now you’re trying to get me in trouble. I can’t do it.
Are you worried about what the weather might do to your hair?
I’ve got three gallons of hairspray in this thing, so I’m good.
What kind of spectacle are you going to bring for the halftime show?
No matter where I perform, it’s my job to uplift the people. So whether I’m performing at a graduation party or a wedding or a bar mitzvah, the Grammys or the Super Bowl, I’m going to give it all I’ve got. Whatever happens happens. I ain’t scared, if that’s what you think.
Spectacle-wise? I don’t do trapeze and all that stuff. I hope to get people dancing and get people smiling. If you ever come to my shows, it’s just us up there with these songs and our instruments. And I’m hoping that’s enough.
You’re performing with the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Super Bowl. How did that collaboration come about, and what can we expect?
The NFL, when they called, they said, “We love to raise the stakes. You can have another artist there with you. Would you like to do something like that?” And the first band I thought of was the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I’ve been a fan of theirs for such a long time. I admire their career.
I sat down with [Red Hot Chili Peppers bass player] Flea. They’re a soulful band, not just musically, but as people. I sat down with Flea, and he’s so passionate about music. Even still to this day, doing it for so long, he’s still so passionate about creating music and performing. I want to surround myself with guys like that forever, so it’s an honor to be sharing a stage with them. They’re one of my personal favorites bands of all time, so I’m excited for that.
Usually, we see older artists perform at the Super Bowl. Have you been able to absorb that this has happened so early in your recording career?
First of all, I’ m so honored that they would give [this honor to] what I feel is still a new artist. The NFL is such a prestigious stage, and they give this new guy a shot. I’m so grateful for that. No, I haven’t been able to take it in. Not yet, but I will. Some Sunday, I will. I’m enjoying myself.
When you were a kid, did you ever see yourself performing at the Super Bowl halftime show?
I just know that I’ve always wanted to do music, no matter what, whether it was going to be a Super Bowl halftime show. I was going to be doing music. That’s all I know how to do. I’m not too athletic. I just know that I wanted to do music. So I came out to California, started writing songs, and just wanted to take my music to the next level.
Can you give advice to young people who want to pursue their dreams?
Don’t let anyone ever try to stop you. That’s what I had to face when I moved to California. Nobody knew what nationality I was. And that was such a big deal, I guess, in the music business. “We don’t know who to sell these records to or what radio station.”
And a lot of people would just tell me, “No, you’re too unorthodox.” And if you’ve got your head on straight and focus on what it is that you want to do and spend all your time practicing your craft, then you have nowhere else to go but up.
You used to do Elvis impersonations when you were a kid. Can you do any impersonations now?
If you guys watch the tapes, I didn’t sound or look anything like Elvis. It was more of a gimmick thing. My dad was like, “I can make a quick buck if I put my little man in an Elvis suit. I can do the [Elvis] lip though.
Do you like football? What do you think of the Pro Bowl?
I love football. Who doesn’t love football? It was always a big deal. Actually, when I was 15, 14 years old, the Pro Bowl came down, and I used to work at a magic show. And I used to sing songs at the magic show. And they used to do an extra show just for the Pro Bowl cheerleaders. And I liked that!
Which Super Bowl halftime show was your favorite?
I loved Beyoncé. I loved Prince. Of course, Michael Jackson. One of my favorites was Bruce Springsteen. I thought that was great.
How much football do you watch? Is there a team that you root for at all?
Being from Hawaii, we always watched the UH [University of Hawaii] Warriors, so that was kind of our team growing up. I guess in Hawaii, it’s whoever’s got the most Polynesians on their team. That’s who we’re rooting for.
For more info: Super Bowl website